Tin Alley Venture, the University of Melbourne’s new venture capital fund for startups, has raised $100 million from a who’s who of Victorian business to support alumni founders.
The uni committed $25 million in June last year to launch the fund, a joint venture with John Wiley’s Tanarra Capital.
Seven months later, the university’s chancellor, prominent lawyer Allan Myers and his business partner, John Higgins, have also endorsed Tin Alley, along with Acciona Australia CEO Bede Noonan, Goldman Sachs Australia chairman Christian Johnston, former Qantas chairman Leigh Clifford and Ben Gray, co-founder of private equity firm BGH Capital.
Government-owned Breakthrough Victoria also invested in Tin Alley Fund No 1, having also invested $7.5 million in the Genesis Pre-Seed Fundto support early stage research, ideas and new technologies at Melbourne uni.
Tin Alley will invest in Melbourne Uni-affiliated startups and provide support from start-up through pre-IPO. A portion of the net profit will be invested in university research, early stage commercialization and social enterprises.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Duncan Maskell said his institution is the first Australian university to introduce an end-to-end funding platform to support the research commercialization journey.
“Raising $100 million demonstrates confidence in the future commercial potential of our university startups,” he said.
“The Tin Alley Ventures Fund will create significant new entrepreneurial opportunities for our world-class researchers, students and alumni, as well as the medical research institutes and hospitals associated with the University of Melbourne.”
Breakthrough Victoria CEO Grant Dooley said the fund will help support the commercialization of Victorian innovation.
“By investing long-term in early stage research and partnering with universities through these types of investments, Breakthrough Victoria can support the development of new innovations that can have a real impact on the lives of Victorians,” he said.
“We are delighted to partner with the University of Melbourne as an investor in the Tin Alley Ventures Fund and the Genesis Pre-Seed Fund. We look forward to making further investment announcements this year as we work with all Victorian universities to raise new funds through our Breakthrough Victoria University Innovation Platform.”
Tin Alley is now in the final stages of hiring its investment team, with Wiley and the Tanarra team overseeing operations.
The fund is now targeting a second close in mid-2023.